It is estimated that 1 in 200 students has epilepsy. This means every teacher is likely to teach a child with epilepsy during their career.
The Epilepsy Smart Schools program has been developed to support students, teachers and schools.
Schools have a duty of care to provide a safe learning environment for all students and ensure they accommodate the needs of all students.
Epilepsy can have a big impact on a child’s experience at school due to the impact of seizures and any medication they may be taking, making it hard for a child to concentrate or remember information from class. The stigma and discrimination still felt by many living with epilepsy today can also contribute to these difficulties. There are more than 60 types of epilepsy, and everyone’s experience with seizures is different. Teachers need to understand the impact of epilepsy on student learning, as well as having epilepsy-specific training in understanding and managing epilepsy.
Every child’s experience of epilepsy is different and therefore supporting them at school will require an individualised approach. By becoming an Epilepsy Smart School you can demonstrate that your school has a supportive and inclusive learning environment.
How to become an Epilepsy Smart School
- Ensure you have current Epilepsy Management Plans in place for all known students with epilepsy. This includes, where emergency medication may be required, a current Emergency Medication Management Plan (EMMP). If your school does not currently have any known students with epilepsy, you can still become an Epilepsy Smart School.
- Ensure all teachers with a duty of care receive training in understanding and managing epilepsy and, if required, training in the application of emergency medication.
- Promote school awareness of epilepsy to foster a supportive environment by taking part in Make March Purple activities or by accessing the Epilepsy Smart Schools Practical Guide and supporting resources on how a school can embed inclusive, safe and educationally sound practices for students with epilepsy and, in so doing, becoming ‘epilepsy smart’.
Visit the Epilepsy Smart Schools website for more information.